Gone are the days in which you could strategically place an exact percentage of key phrases on a page, use the meta-data just right and grab a couple directory links to dominate search results. To maximize the success of your search engine optimization program today, you’ll need a much broader marketing plan. Integration with all of your online marketing and offline marketing initiatives is the key to competing on the search engines. However, there are a few SEO fundamentals that can get your website moving in the right direction.
Content is more important than ever in the world of search engine optimization. Quality, valuable, key phrase rich content that your audience views as important, is critical to obtaining organic search positions. Your content needs to be written for humans first and then tweaked slightly for search engines. But it doesn’t stop after creation. You must continually keep adding, updating and refining that content as well. Content in the form of informative articles, blog posts, detailed products pages, product FAQs, etc. Make your website’s content engaging, interesting and most importantly, shareable! If your content isn’t being shared by your audience, the search engines aren’t going to consider it that important either. Especially if your competitors content is being shared.
With shareable content we run right into Social. Google has always put a high emphasis on trust when assigning search positions. Social has become another one of those “trust” factors. Do you have a presence on some social channels? Is your content shared on social channels by others? What does your online reputation look like? Do you use Google+? Do you have Authorship set up? These factors all play a role in how well your content and website rank on the search engines.
SEO efforts will be limited if you are not using effective link building strategies. Building QUALITY links to your website is vital, now more so than ever. Do a simple search on Google for “Penguin update” and you’ll quickly see why quality links are important and old link building tactics such as non-relevant directory links, will only hurt your chance for success. Please, do not let anyone get your website 100, 500 or 1000 links for $99.95. Instead, invest the necessary resources and build organic links through informative content, professional associations, Local Search and Social Media.
Navigation / Site Architecture
When I started in the field of online marketing (over 10 years ago), the concept of “Keep it Simple Stupid”, also known as the KISS principle, was one of the first things I learned in terms of SEO and decades later it still holds true. Search engines need to be able to classify and organize your website. If your navigation is complex or doesn’t use a technology search crawlers are able to read, then search engines will have a harder time understanding your website, thus your organic search visibility will suffer.
Though the techniques used for optimizing meta-data have changed, certain tags are still crucial to your online marketing success. Most importantly are the title and meta-description tags. If your website does not allow for the capability of assigning page specific, optimized title and description tags, your organic success has and will continue to be limited.
Please keep in mind; the above are just 5 of the fundamentals that should be addressed for a successful search engine optimization program. This is by no means a complete list. There are hundreds of components figured into a search engine’s algorithm. Just as the title says, these are just some of the building blocks for success.